The story continues with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the rest of the thirteen Dwarfs as they continue on their adventure to regain the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Still running from the Orc’s led by Azog (Manu Bennett), the nemesis of Thorin that they evaded in the “The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey”, the group must continue to elude them and move forward to the Lonely Mountain before ‘Durin’s Day’ approaches. With help from a skin-changer, Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt), who turns from a man into great black bear, they are able to temporary avoid the Orc’s from capture.
From there they approach Mirkwood forest, where they encounter giant spiders and are captured by wood elves. They meet with “The Elvenking” Thranduil (Lee Pace), his son the Elvin Prince of Mirkwood Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and chief of the guards Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), where they are imprisoned. Bilbo, who evaded capture, rescues the group and they escape in barrels down a river flume that includes an amazing battle scene as they flow down the river.
They continue on their adventure and happen upon Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans), a skilled archer and the heir of Girion, the last king of old Dale, who helps them across the big lake to the city of Lake Town. From there they continue onto to the mountain fortress where they are to open the secret door and Bilbo is to fulfill his contract by retrieving the ‘Arkenstone’ from the great dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Director Peter Jackson continues where he left off with “The Lord of the Rings” series and “The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey”. The cinematography and scenery is spectacular and displays the wonderful countryside of New Zealand. Beautiful backgrounds along with exotic locations that help make the story come alive help transport the audience into the adventure. His storyline continues true to the Novel “The Hobbit” created by J.R.R. Tolkien, but includes more details about characters and background stories. The action sequences are intense and bring the story alive. Lastly Jackson and his special effects team goes one step further by transporting you into the film with his 3D special effects filmed at a "High Frame Rate" (48 frame per second), that makes you feel that you are part of the story.
As he did in the first film created by Jackson, he continues with intense action sequences, amazing cinematography that uses actual landscapes, a detailed storyline that improves on the original story, and then sums it all up with his spectacular special effects that bring it all alive. This film is a must see and is enriched in the 3D "High Frame Rate" format.
Final Grade: I give this an A, for its spectacular cinematography, excellent storyline, fantastic special effects, and intense action sequences.
Release Date: December 13th, 2013,
Director: Peter Jackson
Runtime: 161 minutes (2 hours and 41 minutes)
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.